The Big Five

The term "Big Five" was first invented by big game hunters not safari guides and refers to the Lion, Leopard, Black Rhino, Elephant and Cape Buffalo. Membership of the Big Five relates to the difficulty and danger in hunting these animals, not size or indeed how photogenic they are! That is why other large interesting animals such as giraffe, hippo, cheetah and zebra are not included, although most people on safari are keen to see them too. All the Big Five animals can be found in Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Big 5 facts

  • The African elephant is the largest land mammal and males can be over 3m tall. They also have the longest gestation period of any land animal – 22 months!
  • In spite of the name, black and white rhinoceri are both actually grey and can be distinguished by the shape of their upper lip.

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